The past year has not been much like what I would have expected, had you told me even a few years ago that it would play out this way. I’m sitting in a concrete room in Qatar listening to Estonian Eurodance, talking to my friend from West Virginia living in Poland, and this is, for me, a fairly ordinary night for the past decade.
The reason for starting this blog, I suppose, is to improve my writing, to avoid talking about politics overmuch, and to have an outlet for the increasingly complex thoughts I have no one to really discuss with. Ah yes! Also, to write about my writing, and track my progress on stories, good and bad.
The blog title comes from the city of letters in The Phantom Tollbooth, one of my favorite books and movies from my childhood. It is probably just as relevant and good now as it was when I was younger, what with its pleas for education, reason, kindness, and virtue. Its “rival” city was Digitopolis, the city of numbers, but in the end both cities found that they were essential capitals under the reign of Pure Rhyme and Sweet Reason.
Something about that story really captured my imagination – the idea of building a world of abstraction, one that was somehow didactic, yet never felt heavy-handed. I was a strange kid. So this blog is also intended to be a little didactic, a little abstract, but ultimately to be light-hearted and track some creativity to boot. My life is not likely to get any less unusual for the near term, so maybe there will be some exciting anecdotes about life in Qatar, travels in Eurasia… who knows? If I did I would be way ahead of myself. Every day here seems simultaneously completely fresh, and yet monotonous in the extreme.
As far as the title of this first post, I have lost that much weight since April of this year, from the desert, better eating, more exercise, and finding ways to feel less stressed out overall. Now if I can make that sort of luck and logic work for becoming a published writer, things could be looking bright!